Categorized | Solar Power

Are Photovoltaic Solar Panels Cost Effective?

The installation of an alternative energy system using photovoltaic solar panels can be very expensive, In this article Im going to address some of the pros and cons of having these fitted and will try to shed some light on some of the elements needed apart from the panels themselves in order to get this running,

This system is probably one of the most common of the energy saving systems available. Photovoltaic Solar Panels are the standard large black rectangles that you often see on peoples roofs. They are made up of many small photovoltaic cells. These are special cells about 4 inches square that generate a small electrical current when exposed to the suns rays. The solar panel itself is made up of many of these joined together turning lots of small electrical currents into one large electrical current.

The main drawback with this system is that the electricity produced is DC electriciy, the same current that batteries use. The answer to this is to have what is called an inverter. This basically changes large amounts of DC electricity into small amounts of AC electricity which can be used around the house.

Another problem with this system is that it obviously doesn’t create energy at night or on cloudy days so it is most efficient when the energy it does create can be stored. This is done by using special Gel battery packs which store the electricity produced for later use.

This system can be very costly. The panels themselves are not the main cost factor here.
The Battery packs are extremely expensive and the invertors do not come cheap either.

The system as a whole needs a very large amount of solar panels to be able to produce enough power to provide for a small family household. If this type of system is installed then it is prudent to be able to have 2 or 3 days of autonomy accounted for. You will need to have an extremely large amount of batteries for this which can be extremely expensive and will require a very large storage space too. The amount of panels required would take up a lot more than the roofspace available on most houses and the cost would be astronomical . Most people who get these systems installed use them to supplement their existing power supply. This drastically reduces their electricity bills as they generate a great part of their own electricity.

You need to bear all of the above points in mind when planning the installation of your solar panels. Know that you will have the extra cost of the batteries and the inverters, try to calculate how much electricity you use and to plan for having enough batteries for 2 or 3 days of usage. With this information clear you can easily work out how much you need to spend, how much you will save and how long it will take you to amortize the investment made on your photovoltaic solar panels.

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